WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Department of Health recognizes Oct. 15 as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, a campaign aimed at engaging the Hispanic/Latino community in promoting HIV awareness through testing, prevention and education.
This year’s theme is “Commit to Speak”/“Comprométete a Hablar.”
The health department offers free and confidential HIV testing and counseling for high-risk individuals in 30 minutes, as well as testing for sexually transmitted infections for those at risk, for a fee.
For an appointment, call 815-334-4500.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 200,000 Latinos have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
The rates of new infections among Latino men were more than double that of white men. The rate
of HIV infection among Latino women was nearly
four times that of white women.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 123 people in McHenry County are living with HIV/AIDS (51 HIV, 72 AIDS) as of December 2011.
The CDC states the impact of HIV on Hispanics/Latinos is not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather to challenges faced by some communities, including lower awareness of HIV status, poverty, access to care, stigma, migration acculturation (the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group) and homophobia.
For information, call the health department at 815-334-4500.